The Healthy LifeWorks Project: The Effect of a Comprehensive Workplace Wellness Program on the Prevalence and Severity of Musculoskeletal Disorders in a Canadian Government Department

Objective: The purpose of this study was to determine the effect of a comprehensive workplace wellness program on the prevalence and severity of musculoskeletal disorders in a Canadian government department. Methods: The Healthy LifeWorks program was developed, implemented, and evaluated over a 4-year period. A total of 233 employees completed the Nordic Musculoskeletal Questionnaire before and after the program to determine the prevalence and severity of musculoskeletal disorders. Results: There was an approximately 10% decrease in the 12-month prevalence of musculoskeletal disorders, ranging from 4% for hip/thigh problems to 12% for lower and upper back problems. The proportion of people reporting that a musculoskeletal disorder interfered with their normal work during the past 12 months decreased from 83% to 46%. Conclusions: Comprehensive wellness, including educational sessions on posture, ergonomics, and joint health, results in improved musculoskeletal health.

Source : Curwin, Sandra; Allt, Jane; Szpilfogel, Claudine; Makrides, Lydia. Journal of Occupational & Environmental Medicine, June 2013, Vol. 55, no 6, p. 628–633

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